Tom Aikens is one of the UK’s most acclaimed and inspirational British chefs. With a father working in the wine industry and a childhood mostly spent gardening and cooking with his mother, Tom put food and the use of the finest ingredients at the centre of his life from a very early age.
His remarkable career took him to David Cavalier’s in Battersea, Pierre Koffman’s La Tante Claire, Joel Robuchon in Paris, Gerard Boyere’s in Riems and Pied-à-Terre to name a few. It was at the latter that Tom became the youngest British chef ever to be awarded two Michelin stars, aged just 26. Tom remained at Pied-à-Terre for five years, then going on to open his immensely successful eponymous restaurant, Tom Aikens (2003-2014), which won a Michelin star and rising 2 star in 2009.
Tom currently has five Tom’s Kitchen sites: the Chelsea original, which opened in 2006, Canary Wharf (2013), and HMS Belfast in London (2016). The group’s international flagship opened in Istanbul in 2013, and the first UK site outside of London opened in Birmingham’s The Mailbox in December 2016. There are also three Tom’s Kitchen Delis, adjacent to the restaurants in Canary Wharf, Birmingham, and to the bar at HMS Belfast in London (2016).
Further afield Tom opened The Pawn in Hong Kong (2014), an informal restaurant and bar, serving a mixture of British classics, brunch style dishes and some of his more technically assembled creations, plus a roof top garden, which Tom uses to create his dishes. Tom also launched a new sharing concept, Pots, Pans & Boards, in Dubai (2015).
Tom has written three books; Cooking (2006), Fish (2008), and Easy (2011), and has made several appearances on television, reaching the final banquet of 2013’s Great British Menu on BBC2 in aid of Comic Relief, and is a regular guest on Great British Menu and Great British Bake Off’s The Extra Slice.
Tom is dedicated to serving only the highest quality, ethically sourced ingredients and continually supports The Environmental Justice Foundation to raise awareness of illegal ‘pirate’ fishing and diminishing fish stocks. He also works closely with various charities including: the Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Campaign, Royal Marsden Cancer Campaign and School Food Matters, where he teaches young children basic cooking skills.
Outside of work, Tom is an avid sportsman and has a great passion for cycling. He has entered races including the Marmotte, Luc Alphand and the Etape de Tour up Mount Ventoux. In addition to participating in several London Marathons, he also completed the Marathon des Sables in 2010, running six marathons across the Sahara Desert in five days to raise money for Facing Africa. In 2012, Tom was selected as a Torch Bearer for the London Olympics and carried the Olympic Torch through the streets of Chelsea.